S & J Nursery’s Guide to Growing
Pinecone Ginger/ Shampoo Ginger
in the Northeast Florida Landscape
( Zingiber zerumbet)
Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger Origins:
– These gorgeous semi tropical perennial plants are native to India and Malaysia.
– Zingiber zerumbet is a plant of many uses. It can be found being sold as Pinecone Ginger or Shampoo ginger. The common names come from the pinecone looking bracts that hold a sweet smelling thick watery liquid
used in the production of many commercial shampoos. Also referred to as “Awapuhi” on the Island of Hawaii and even common ginger in areas of the south.
– Reliably hardy in zones 8-11 and root hardy in as far north as zone 7, Shampoo Gingers are an excellent landscape plant for moist or shady areas of the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscape.
Sun Exposure for the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo ginger should be planted into a shaded area of your Northeast Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape. They can tolerate a partial sun location in moist soils but foliage may tend to
burn a bit with too much sun exposure.
Foliage of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Upright, gently arching stalks of dark green foliage. Leaves are opposite along the stalks and can get to 1 foot long and 3 inches wide, just slightly wider than it’s close relative , the edible Zingiber officinale.
– Foliage remains mostly evergreen in my garden located right between Jacksonville and St. Augustine Florida in what we call the Switzerland area. But they are planted in a frost free area of the landscape. ( I have had them go back to the ground once in the last 15 + years)
– Depending on the planting location and winter temperatures, foliage may go dormant and come back rapidly the following spring. Protection from larger trees or nearby buildings can help plants remain evergreen in the
roughest of winters here in North Florida. The same plant planted and purchased at the same time even 30 feet away may behave differently in the winter.
– Gingers are a rhizomatous perennial plant, that is they grow and spread from underground rhizomes and
form clumps of foliage. They can be dug and divided and replanted with just the rhizome or both rhizome and foliage
stalks successfully into other garden locations with ease.
Soil Preference / Salt tolerance of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger is tolerant of a wide range of soil components and
growing conditions, although they will be most at home with adequate moisture, good drainage after heavy rains, and
rich fertile soils.
– Salt tolerance unknown.
Size Variance of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Zingiber zerumbet plants reach 3-6 ft in height and form rather large clumps if not dug and
Growth Habit of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Clumping perennial rhizomes form an attractive, upright mound of gently arching foliage..
Growth Rate of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Fast growing Ginger plant selection!
Bloom of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– The bracts really do form a pinecone shape, green cones emerge in late summer from the ground underneath the tall foliage. As the cones age they turn a bright red and fill with a thick watery liquid that has a sweet and
slightly spicy scent. Small yellow blooms emerge from the bracts. And the liquid from the bloom is used as an excellent natural conditioner for your hair and added as an ingredient in shampoos.
Water Requirements of the Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger:
– Although much more durable once established in the landscape, regular water is necessary to get the plant rooted and growing on its own after being planted in the ground from an S & J Nursery container. Use
supplemental irrigation bi-weekly or biweekly when planted into drier soil areas of the garden.
Best Uses For Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger in the Jacksonville | St. Augustine
Area Landscapes :
– Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger is a great easy care low maintenance addition to just about any landscape.
– Plant them as the backdrop to a mixed perennial border for added tropical appeal.
– Medicinal as well as cosmetic uses of zingiber zerumbet have been used for a long time, these plants are as practical as they are pretty!
- Use liquid as a fragrant conditioning rinse r shampoo for your hair and body.
- Drink the liquid for a refreshing treat!
- Use mashed rhizome as a poultice, wrapped in a cloth to treat sprains and strains
- cook and mash the rhizome for a “toothache pack”
- make a tea from the mashed root, strain and drink to help ease a stomaches ache
- leaves and stalks can be used in baking to enhance the flavor of fish or pork as they cook.
- Click here for more uses of the shampoo ginger / pinecone ginger/ zingiber zerumbet
Care of Zingiber zerumbet or Pinecone Ginger / Shampoo Ginger in the Northeast Florida Landscape:
– Low care landscape pant selection in rich soils. Amend soil generously with compost or cow manure when planting for best results.
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from an S & J Nursery container.
– Ginger plants will need good water during the establishment period and supplemental irrigation during dry spells or particularly hot dry summers, especially when planted into sandier soils.
– Fertilize each spring with a handful of garden compost or a mixture of Milorganite or Green Edge Fertilizer and a slow release poly coated plant food such as Osmocote or Stay Green general purpose plant food or 10-10-10.